The Messy Truth Blog

Enjoy the images and writings and recordings as they emerge – not filtered for only the best or only the ‘worthy’ writing. I give you what’s honest, the messy truth, a tiny slice of extraordinary beauty in my ordinary life.

a delight i didn’t entirely expect

a delight i didn’t entirely expect

Let me read it to you... ​ I stand inside my slippers at the counter with a mug of coffee between my hands, swaying back and forth, mesmerized by the shadows of a maple tree dancing in sunbeams on the floor in front of me. The September light streams in on a cool...

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ephemeral

ephemeral

Let me read it to you... ​The ephemeral nostalgia of the holidays makes way for January with its regularly scheduled programming, its sub-zero temperatures. I hear a voice from my past echo in my head, “Party’s over, girl. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay...

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fistfuls of softness

fistfuls of softness

Let me read it to you... Winter isn’t official until December 20-something, yet everything about the Minnesota sky in November moans winter. I had just left my dad’s place. We spent a few hours in the kitchen enjoying the fine art of making lefse. Potatoes, butter,...

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i can’t help but love it

i can’t help but love it

Let me read it to you... I can’t help but love them, the dried-up old weeds in the neglected flowerbed that now look like furry little golden chipmunk tails, swaying in the autumn wind. I don’t know what they’re called. I only know I planned to slash them down, along...

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what is home

what is home

Let me read it to you...   What is home but all the blankets bunched up at my feet by morning? I open one eye to see the cat sitting upright by the pillow, contemplating my eyelashes. Home is going to the bathroom together, straightening the rug in the hallway...

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what i hope is true

what i hope is true

Let me read it to you...   What I hope is true is the worst of my peri-menopause is behind me and I’ll have an unremarkable transition. Shouldn’t it be true that the ones with the worst periods should have the most pleasant of menopauses? I hope it’s true...

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i have an idea…

i have an idea…

Let me read it to you...   Everything begins with an idea.-Earl Nightingale   I have an idea… I have lots of ideas. Many of them come and go with no consequences at all. Some of them are good ideas and I just don’t have time for them. Some of them are...

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advice to my younger self

advice to my younger self

Let me read it to you...   Go to college when your parents are willing to pay for it. You don't have to know how it will all turn out. Don't smoke - it's the worst. Listen, your mom loves you. She wants to protect you, wants better for you. Parenting is hard,...

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how to not feel lost in the dark

how to not feel lost in the dark

Let me read it to you...   close your eyes be still and listen for the sound of your breathing feel the texture of things between your fingers put a little cocoa in your breakfast shake say yes to a second cup of coffee find the cat and copy what she’s doing nap...

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why i’ll lie

why i’ll lie

Let me read it to you... I want to say something about depression. My depression. And saying something is opposite of what I normally want. I’d rather stay quiet. Let’s not wake the monster. But recently, the monster is awake and making its way through our...

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that kind of day

that kind of day

Let me read it to you... Beginnings are sprouting everywhere, even in the most inhospitable places, even where I really don’t want them to, it seems. Every hour, a new thing appears where there were only dry leaves and dirt. And there are days when I want to begin...

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napowrimo 2018

napowrimo 2018

April is here. And it's #napowrimo according to http://www.napowrimo.net/. Thirty poems in thirty days is the challenge. And if I'm going to succeed, I'll have to set aside any notion that I'll write final drafts of anything. Each day, I'll just reach in, grab a key...

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locked up tight

locked up tight

Let me read it to you... When I think of why something might be locked up tight, I think it's because there’s something precious inside, something that simply cannot be allowed to be lost or stolen or damaged. A box of letters, a diamond ring, the deed to the farm. So...

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not much to say

not much to say

Let me read it to you... I don’t have much to say. That’s how it begins most days. Should I write? I think how useless it is to write about the day – wake up, internet, eat, shower, work, eat some more, open mail, move around, fall back into bed. Why write about it?...

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it doesn’t have to be beautiful

it doesn’t have to be beautiful

Let me read it to you... It doesn’t have to be beautiful. That’s what I tell myself on Tuesdays when I have to go back to work. My hair gets washed, but then wrangled into a slop-knot, soaking wet, on the back of my head. I exfoliate the face and slather on the...

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smoke

smoke

Let me read it to you... I was still a smoker in 2005, the year I got married and was full of hope for the idea that there might be babies and new grandmas on the horizon. My mother had been begging me for years to quit, my husband somewhat passive aggressive about...

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prayer in my pocket

prayer in my pocket

Let me read it to you... (inspired by Prayer In My Boot by Naomi Shihab Nye)   For the wind no one expected, the one that shook the autumn leaves free and for the man I saw raking leaves on that windy day, not at all looking frantic, looking quite zen as he...

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random red

random red

Let me read it to you... **adult language     sassy gingham apron red tender love poem red rosacea on my cheeks and décolletage red dried chili pepper in a beaded glass jar red vintage smoking jacket in the back of my closet red faded cowgirl boots I just...

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the BIG write :: September 2017

the BIG write :: September 2017

It's September and I have that September feeling - memories of the flutter of returning to school and the dangers of being seen, being myself without all the disguises. Write-along with me using a line from a Cecilia Woloch poem and let's make this month a time of...

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of words

of words

Let me read it to you...     a glimmer of words fireflies flickering flying above reach against a night sky competing with stars and a passing satellite   aimless dance of words they are here no, there to hold them in a jar is to keep them captive...

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they said

they said

Let me read it to you...     My uncle said, “Play to win.” We were playing a card game and he was my partner. The room was filled with Marlboro and Tareyton, interrupted by occasional shouting, anger or elation. I was just seven but had to learn to play...

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truth about hunger

truth about hunger

Let me read it to you...     the truth is the backyard ash shivers in the dark and every night hungers for morning sun   the truth is babies are born craving lullabies the baritone drum of a father’s voice and mama’s cool hand across the forehead  ...

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the BIG write :: August 2017

the BIG write :: August 2017

This month, I have something really special for us. I bring you an interview with the amazing Laurie Wagner, creator of 27 Powers and Wild Writing. We gabbed about Wild Writing, what’s scary about it, what’s healing and lifechanging about it. Laurie brings a favorite...

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pieces

pieces

Let me read it to you...   A piece of me once pirouetted in powder blue Lycra and legwarmers and pink satin pointe shoes. A piece of me once ‘Grooved Tonight’ and ‘Beat It’ and ‘Funkytowned,’ even won a retro Twist contest with a boy long gone. A piece of me ate...

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stitch

stitch

Let me read it to you...   spool of thread neatly wound waiting to punch stitches through the layers make something of nothing marry the bits into one story, one foretelling snip off just enough not too long or you’ll get tangled needle’s eye a test of steadiness...

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the BIG write :: July 2017

the BIG write :: July 2017

:30    Who I am & how this started 2:26   Why "the BIG write" 4:25   Reading a little something from Anele Rubin 7:44   How we write 9:39   10 Minute timed write 20:54  The magical thing 24:00  End Anele Rubin: http://www.rattle.com/tired-by-anele-rubin/ Laurie...

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courage in the small things

courage in the small things

Let me read it to you...   (inspired by Anne Sexton’s poem, Courage)   I’m thinking of the moment after I wake but before I open my eyes I wonder if it will be a familiar scene the one I left the night before or if overnight the whole world has turned to...

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needles

needles

  Let me read it to you...   I write because after the ride is over I will want to ride again, even though minutes ago I was making a deal with God to end it. I want to write letters to my future self, reminding me not to take that left turn or kiss that guy...

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dark

dark

  Let me read it to you...   I don’t want to write about this because I don’t want to be known for this. I reject this. I don’t want to lament and complain and find more ways to describe an awful thing. I really just want this to be like a dream I cannot...

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summering

summering

  Let me read it to you...   I stand in the backyard with my arms crossed holding my elbows. I turn my face to the sun, close my eyes, take in the smell of cut grass rising through the neighborhood. The hydrangeas are preparing to burst out with clouds of...

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postscript to peanut butter

postscript to peanut butter

  Let me read it to you...   It’s funny how things are lost. The losing part seems to happen in secret, a prelude to the realization that something has gone missing. My job for instance. I didn’t exactly lose it, I gave it up. But because I hadn't given much...

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dream

dream

  Let me read it to you...   I’m thinking of the dream. You know, the one we all have but maybe don’t want to claim or admit to. The one behind a red door, behind a locked gate. I’m not talking about the dream of survival, of just making it, of just getting...

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tech rep

tech rep

  What I wanted most as a child was to be a grown-up, with all the adult privileges like staying up as late as possible, watching provocative movies on tv and drinking things that make you laugh and stumble. I remember one September day when I was twelve-ish, my...

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market

market

  we enter separately   straight into the produce department compete for the freshest Honeycrisps thump the cantaloupes listening for the right kind of echo the right kind of response “Yes, I think this one harmonizes.”   Squaring myself, I clench the...

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here

here

  Let's start here in a house that is ready for company. Here, the dust bunnies that hide under furniture are wrangled, 800 thread count sheets ready to stretch out over a sofa sleeper. Here, the sidewalk is swept and I wonder if I might plant pansies or petunias...

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willow

willow

  Spring means the wlllows in the park are starting to weep. I stop and look up and let nostalgia settle on me. I remember things. I remember reading my mom to sleep at night. Wednesdays we ate pork chops and au gratin potatoes. Summer trips to the lake, we'd...

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circling the drain

circling the drain

  Let's not resist it any longer. I want to go down the drain with you where things are hairy and sticky and mysterious and stinky. I want to grab your hand and show you how thrilling it is to go winding down the twists and turns sludge on your hands, breath...

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